Growing Tomato Plants and Monarch Cocoon Evidence of Advent of Spring

The tomato plants had to be covered a couple of times since being planted in February to protect from possible frosts, but they've shot up and have blooms and at least one small tomato.  They share the small space with turnips, radishes, lettuce, beets, onions and carrots.

The tomato plants had to be covered a couple of times since being planted in February to protect from possible frosts, but they’ve shot up and have blooms and at least one small tomato. They share the small space with turnips, radishes, lettuce, beets, onions and carrots.

First Tomato 2015Yesterday the calendar marked spring’s first official day.  Despite longer periods of cold weather throughout the winter months than is usually experienced here in northwest Harris County, evidence of spring is busting out everywhere in the yard.   The big oak tree that shades the house in the summer is dirtying up the patio with its series of nasty droppings of “really-I-don’t-know-what” along with last year’s leaves that were still trying to hand on after a couple of late frosts.  Recent rains with a few days of sunshine have perked up the grass and all of the plants already growing and others are piping up throughout the ground.

Sun-kissed day lilies add a spot of early color to the yard.

Sun-kissed day lilies add a spot of early color to the yard.

The milkweed plants in the sunny south flour bed made it through the cold days, but now their leaves are being devoured by a hoard of monarch caterpillars.

The milkweed plants in the sunny south flour bed made it through the cold days, but now their leaves are being devoured by a hoard of monarch caterpillars.

One of the caterpillars has already made its cocoon on the side of the garage.

One of the caterpillars has already made its cocoon on the side of the garage.

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Spring Blooms Brighten Up an Early Saturday Morning

The first amaryllis to open sings a spring song and is backed up by a chorus of bright day lilies.

The first amaryllis to open sings a spring song and is backed up by a chorus of bright day lilies.

Spring mornings can be delicious, especially if they fall on a Saturday.  After the much-needed rain of this past week, this morning was a good one to take a peek at all the plants in the backyard, which I did early this morning, getting my slippers and cuffs of my fleece pants wet from the dewy grass.

These tiny cherry tomato blooms foretell more good things to come.

These tiny cherry tomato blooms foretell more good things to come.

Giant salvia ready to attract bees and butterflies.

Giant salvia ready to attract bees and butterflies.

Delicate green pea blossoms await the morning sunshine.

Delicate green pea blossoms await the morning sunshine.

These fire spikes have made it through the cold months and continue to liven up the yard.

These fire spikes have made it through the cold months and continue to liven up the yard.

This angel-wing begonia brightens up the patio year after year.

This angel-wing begonia brightens up the patio year after year.